COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate by age
Jury out on whether younger people face serious health consequences
NO ONE IS IMMUNE to COVID-19, but teens and pre-teens come pretty close.
The latest data from the state Department of Public Health indicate just over 70 percent of those infected are distributed fairly evenly between the ages of 20 and 60. Those under 20 account for just 2 percent of cases, while those over 60 account for nearly 28 percent.
Marylou Sudders, the governor’s secretary of health and human services, said the numbers illustrate that no one is immune from the disease. She said it still appears that people older than 60 and people with underlying medical conditions are more at risk for serious health problems from COVID-19, but it appears younger people are also being affected.
A report issued last week by the Centers for Disease Control indicated 38 percent of some 508 hospitalized COVID-19 patients across the country were between the ages of 20 and 54. New York City officials said last week that a quarter of the patients hospitalized for COVID-19 symptoms were between 18 and 49. Anecdotal evidence here in Massachusetts also indicates people younger than 60 are being admitted to hospitals.
Neither Sudders nor Gov. Charlie Baker raised concerns about the health threat for people under 60. Instead, they focused on the large number of people under 60 who are contracting the disease and said it’s up to that age group to stop the spread of the disease so older adults with weakened immune systems don’t catch COVID-19.The Wednesday report on COVID-19 from the Department of Public Health showed a 59 percent increase in confirmed cases, with the number rising from 1,159 on Tuesday to 1,838 on Wednesday. There were big increases in most parts of the state. Berkshire County, for example, saw a 92 percent increase to 71 cases. Bristol County jumped 116 percent to 67 cases. Middlesex, the leader in total cases, rose 47 percent to 446 cases.
The rate of testing for COVID-19 remained high in the Wednesday report, with 6,225 tests being conducted. Quest Diagnostics, which has a testing lab in Marlborough, reported doing 4,010 tests, which all alone is more than the 3,500 daily test goal set by the Baker administration. Another lab set up at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT is gearing up its testing capabilities and should have the capacity to process 2,000 tests a day with a turnaround time of 12 to 24 hours.